Friday, October 31, 2008

Duty-free Iron

I went to see the "Krrrakin" this morning at Louis' Bone Emporium. He seems to think that my hip is doing nicely, feeling that he is finally whipping me into shape. As each "snap", "krackle", and "pop" resounded throughout the the "Krrrakin's" cave, I thought about the last fifteen minutes of the "Terminator" that I watched last night. There was a fellow whose bone structure would have given the "Krrrakin" pause. I am assured by the medical profession that my condition does not deposit iron into my bones, nor will it cause my eyes to turn red and glow in the dark. About the time you figure out a possible up-side to a disease, the boys in white take it all away. I have just about finished watching the first season of the "Sarah Conner Chronicles". I am certain that my affliction is not going to make me look like Summer Glau either. More's the pity.

Later on I went to see "Doc Holliday" for my monthly checkup and review of my ferritin count. Before Trillium and I headed off to California, I had a pint ("clank") drawn at the Infusion Center. "Nurse Chappell" was as chipper as ever. I feel like, when I am talking to her, that having the 14-gauge cannon muzzle shoved into my vein is similar to riding on the "teeter-totter" at Paul Ream Park. My guess is that if I were a little more like Arnold's character in last night's movie, our monthly fist-a-cuff's would have more charm about them. "Doc" said that as part of the treatment program that I should continue to do my monthly thing down at the Center. I don't think that I can maintain the witticisms that frequently.

While on vacation in the Pacific, I had the opportunity of partaking of the cuisine offered up by Carnival Cruise Line. It wasn't bad. Dinner time was the best. The servings are based on the European tradition: small, but tasty. I decided on the second night that we ate there, that I would have two of everything. So, I had two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts. I took consolation that none of this intake was going to trouble my liver, my pancreas, my brain, or my heart. The officers on board kept insisting that everything was duty-free. "Ah!" I thought, "The perfect vacation. I don't have to fret about anything". All diseases and congenital afflictions remained on shore in Long Beach. When we arrived home five days later I discovered that I had brought back nine more pounds than what I had left with.

I think that I have figured out what happened. It could have been the meals on board ship, but as I said, they were supposed to be duty-free. After a nice breakfast of grits, eggs, fried potatoes, bacon, pastries, milk, fruit, and bagels, I made my way with Trillium to one of the Shoreboats that had been arranged for to take us to Avalon. We walked the crescent from the green pier to the Casino and then back to the place where we were to have our Inside Island Tour. By this time it was about 10:00 and I was feeling a little peckish. We went into a little bistro on the south end of the city and I bought a foot-long roast-beef sandwich. "You have got to be kidding me!" exclaimed Trillium. "I'm on vacation. Besides, its duty-free," I replied. In all honesty, however, I could only get half of it down before the bus was ready to cart us up the mountain, passing the buffalo, and into the airport. It was a bit of a jaunt and by the time we arrived at the former Western Airlines depot for Catalina Island, the first half of the sandwich had been pretty much compacted by the jostling about that had taken place in the bus. While others lolled about in the gift shop, I hammered down the second half of the sandwich.

I was feeling just a little too stuffed at dinner time and Trillium could have been feeling better as well. As a result, we did not join our regular companions at the Destiny Dining Room. We walked about the ship from stem to stern. I think that we enjoyed the fantail the best. Trillium liked looking at the waters of the Pacific being churned up by the ship's engines and the waves that fanned away from the ship into the distance; I liked the fact that the Pizza Shop, the sandwich store, and the ice cream dispenser were about 30 feet away.

The next day, after a moderate breakfast (I left out the grits and added a large omelet) Trillium and I decided to hoof it into Ensenada just to work our joints a little. It was a little too much for us: Trillium had injured her ankle before leaving Orem; I actually had an uncontrollable urge to roll along the sidewalk. About noon we boarded the bus to go out to La Buffadora, south of town. It was interesting. I worked out the rhythm of the spouts by using Mandelbrot's Fractals and as a result got some pretty good pictures. Trillium wanted ice cream, or something like unto it. We ended up with something like Popsicles but made out of whole fruit. I recommended the Lime flavor just because I knew that the little animals that made life unpleasant in Mexico cannot survive the acidic nature of lime juice. They were wonderful. We also bought two carne asada tacos from a little place there. A daring, but wonderful adventure. I watched the girls roll up the masa, flatten them in the tortilla maker, fry them on the grill, and then load the chopped beef and other yummy ingredients into that freshly made tortilla. I assumed that these, too, were duty-free. When we arrived back on board ship, we prepared for dinner. It was two of everything.

The rest of the week went in a similar vein. When we got off the ship in Long Beach, the Customs people asked me if I had anything to declare. I just rolled by them in silence. They seemed to understand. At the airport, since we had not eaten breakfast, I suggested that we have some airport food. Trillium indicated what she wanted. I ended up with a breakfast burrito the size of New Hampshire. This, too, was duty-free since California and New Hampshire have an understanding. When we got back to Salt Lake I found that I had some difficulty getting behind the wheel of the Mustang. By the time we arrived in Orem, my belly-button was chafed raw by the steering wheel.

The following Monday (this last Monday), I went into the University Medical Center to have blood extracted for the ferritin check. The lab technician (who shall remain Nameless), had to fuss around for about 15 minutes trying to find out if it was okay for her to take my blood. I was annoyed. I was not there to sit about waiting for, contemplating even, the sharp, stabbing pain that I was about to receive. I became somewhat agitated, even a little miffed, so much so that when she finally flounced back into the lab and lashed me up, I did not even feel the needle going into my arm. I was waiting for it, I was flinching properly, but all that duty-free iron had dulled my senses.

So now to the bottom line. "Doc Holliday" was accompanied by a pre-med student this morning. The fellow was trying to decide whether he should pursue a career in poking and prodding. I let the "Doc" sing his little song for me, even though both he and I knew that he had sung it too many times already. Again, there was an upside to all of that duty-free iron that had dulled my senses. My ferritin level was at 530, some 61 points below what it had been a month ago. The plebotomies and ferritin checks are to continue for the next six months and in May I will go back in to have my liver, spleen, lungs, heart, and pancreas checked once again for abnormalities. I confessed my diet of the previous week to "Doc". He said "Zaphod, don't get yourself all worked up about this stuff. You are coming along just fine..... although,... you are looking a little puffy".

I have lost four pounds since last Friday. I am not certain how much of that has been duty-free iron. Of all the things that I have been eating of late, it is the most irresponsible.


Trillium said...

Irresponsible????? You lost me.

Trillium said...

OK, I get it . . . har-de-har-har . . .

shydandelion said...

I don't get it.
faugg: what I am in.

Zaphod said...

If something is "duty-free", it is "irresonsible". If you have to explain the jokes.... it's not worth the server's time. Speaking of "servers", it's time for breakfast.

bactog: what I have to do in order to explain my jokes.

Rebecca said...

Well, I enjoyed the cruise descriptions. Victor and I have been on that same cruise 3 times. We have gone to LaBufadora twice and eaten the tacos.

Added to our adventures, Victor had to fend off the shop keepers. I was grabbed by one and dragged into the shop so that they could get me to buy something. It is nice to have a husband such as Victor. As soon as the shop keeper realized that we were married he backed off and sent his son running to let the other shop keepers know that I was off limits... :)

We have some good pictures of the blow whole too.

We also came back with extra baggage that took time to lose.